Imec 300mm Cleanroom, Leuven, Belgium
Cost: €1 billion (USD $1,116,750,000)
Size: 4,000 sm
Team: M+W (construction), Stéphane Beel (architect), and Wim Mertens (responsible for imec’s campus buildings)
Description: Imec’s new 300mm cleanroom is one of the most advanced research facilities in the world dedicated to scaling IC technology beyond 7nm. Its addition now brings imec’s total semiconductor research cleanrooms to 12,000 sm. The facility will be able to serve the entire semiconductor ecosystem, complies with the newest standards in the semiconductor industry, and provides additional space for the most advanced tools that will lead innovations in new device and system concepts.
The cleanroom includes a “waffle table’,” a 3-ft. thick concrete slab that forms the basis of the cleanroom. Its structure rests on 831 concrete piles placed 60 feet deep in the ground, making it totally vibration-free and ensuring precision accuracy down to a millionth of a millimeter. The waffle table lies 50 feet above ground and is perforated with no less than 3,300 holes (400 mm diameter), and there is constant air circulation.
Imec’s partners—which includes foundries, IDMs, fabless and fablite companies, equipment and material suppliers—will benefit from the equipment to develop innovative solutions for more powerful, high-performing, cheaper and energy-efficient ICs which are crucial in the evolution of a sustainable digital future. The cleanroom complements imec’s other production facilities including its bio-nanolabs, neuroelectronics labs, imaging and wireless and electronics test labs, photovoltaic pilot lines, and GaN-on-Si, Silicon photonics and MEMS pilot lines.
The cleanroom was constructed by M+W, an internationally renowned contractor of large-scale high-tech infrastructure. The architecture was designed by Stéphane Beel and includes a reflecting façade which is intended to integrate the building with the environment. Responsible for imec’s campus buildings is Wim Mertens.
The one billion Euro cost comprises both the building and equipment. imec received 100 million euro in funding from the Flemish government and more than 900 million euro in investments from joint R&D partners within the semiconductor industry.
Completion date: The cleanroom opened on March 10, 2016. Installations of the first tools began in January 2016—the project lasted a total of 20 months.
Contact: Hanne Degans, press officer and communications specialist, +32 16 28 17 69, Hanne.Degans@imec.be